This casserole adds a Tex-Mex spin to a classic Italian dish
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Texas, do Tex-Mex.
Texas lasagna is a casserole that puts a Lone Star spin on a venerable and very popular Italian-
American dish. In this dish, tortillas replace noodles, taco meat and beans replace bolognese sauce and cottage cheese replaces ricotta.
Toppings include familiar accoutrements such as crumbled tortilla chips, salsa, jalapeños, avocado and jack cheese. It’s a family meal or perfect for potluck. It works as a freezable, make-ahead dish for busy parents. Of course, Texas deserves its very own lasagna.
1 1⁄2 pounds ground meat
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 package (1 1⁄4 ounces) taco seasoning
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
2 cups 4 percent cottage cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 corn tortillas torn
3 1⁄2-4 cups shredded Monterey Jack
Optional toppings: Crushed tortilla chips, jalapeños, salsa, diced or sliced avocado
In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain, add seasoning salt, taco seasoning, tomatoes, tomato sauce and chiles. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and eggs.
In a greased 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish, layer half of each of the following: meat sauce, tortillas, cottage cheese and Monterey Jack. Repeat layers.
Bake uncovered at 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with topping if desired.
If you plan to freeze it, do so before baking. Cover and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Increase baking time, as necessary, to reach and internal temperature of 165 F.
Phil Newton is a Galveston baker/cook. He’s the owner/operator of Stiglich Corner with partner Cindy Roberts.